Monday, August 30, 2010

The Wasp Nest

The kids were playing outside today, and wasps began swarming around Adrianne. Luckily she was only stung once, and Lindsey grabbed Callum before he got stung.

After further investigation, this is what we found...

I did some quick research, and found a non-toxic and natural approach to killing the nest off. I simply mixed dish soap and water in my sprayer. The stuff worked great.

If this nest wasn't in the kids playhouse I would have left it be. These wasps or hornets (haven't been able to determine yet) are great pest control since they eat a good number of destructive insects.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mistakes in Year One

Don't plant carrots so close...

Year One carrot harvest

Monday, July 19, 2010

R.I.P. Chicken and Rats in the Feed

We had a strange week...

Not sure if it was the heat or general weakness but we lost one of the chickens. I found it dead under the coop with an egg laying next to it. Strange?!?

Next up, I solved the mysteries of the "swinging feed bucket" and "Where the hell is all the chicken feed going?".

Fixed the problem with a trap and peanut butter. 
Next up, all of the little mice eating the leftovers.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sustainability Tip : Save The Shorts

If you're tough on shorts and pants like I am (rips, popped buttons, etc.), then this is a great tip. Instead of throwing out a torn pair of shorts, or shoving them into the back of the closet, get em' fixed.

There are still sewing shops out there, and even some grandmas willing to help. You can get most anything fixed, even the worst of rips.

I have shorts that are 10+ years old that have been brought back to life again by a seamstress at "The Stitchin' Post" on 23rd St.

For a few dollars you can save a lot in the long run.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sustainability Tip : Freezin' Green Beans

What do you do when you've got excess green beans from the garden?

Freeze Em'!

1. Cut or snap off the ends. Break into smaller pieces.

2. Boil for 3-5 minutes.

3. Dump into ice bath for 3-5 minutes.

4. Ziploc (suck out the excess air) and freeze.

5. Heat and eat for fresh tasting green beans any time of the year.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Farmer's Market : Beware

We finally had the chance to get down to the "local" Kansas City Farmer's Market. This is the place that is supposedly filled with fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers growing their crops the natural way. Yet, we discovered a sad truth while we were there.

Many shoppers don't realize that the fruits and vegetables they are buying are almost always from a large farm (even industrialized operations) that isn't local. We were unable to locate a single vendor that sold local produce without pesticides. The information booth was also unable to provide a list of vendors who followed a natural growth process. One vedor we talked to was selling fruits and vegetables he bought from "a guy in Arkansas" and drove up here to sell it. He said, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure the guy we got em from sprays em".

Needless to say, we were very disappointed (and left empty handed). I have much higher hopes for the Drum Farm Local Market and the 39th St. Market. I'm excited to talk with some of their vendors....

Word of advice: Make sure you talk with the produce vendor about the food you are buying. You could be buying the same pesticide and petroleum fertilized produce (from 1000+ miles away) they sell at the supermarket.